Predictably, the bitterest criticism of the president’s speech yesterday comes not even from the Dems, but from their think tank, the New York Times. In its lead editorial today, the NYT editors presume to speak for the American people, compare Bush to an isolated Nixon, and do their best to revive their campaign to re-create Vietnam in the Middle East. The money quotes:
We’ve seen it before: an embattled president so swathed in his inner circle that he completely loses touch with the public and wanders around among small knots of people who agree with him. There was Lyndon Johnson in the 1960’s, Richard Nixon in the 1970’s, and George H. W. Bush in the 1990’s. Now it’s his son’s turn.
It has been obvious for months that Americans don’t believe the war is going just fine, and they needed to hear that President Bush gets that. They wanted to see that he had learned from his mistakes and adjusted his course, and that he had a measurable and realistic plan for making Iraq safe enough to withdraw United States troops. Americans didn’t need to be convinced of Mr. Bush’s commitment to his idealized version of the war. They needed to be reassured that he recognized the reality of the war…
…after watching the president, we couldn’t resist reading Richard Nixon’s 1969 Vietnamization speech. Substitute the Iraqi constitutional process for the Paris peace talks, and Mr. Bush’s ideas about the Iraqi Army are not much different from Nixon’s plans — except Nixon admitted the war was going very badly (which was easier for him to do because he didn’t start it), and he was very clear about the risks and huge sacrifices ahead.
A president who seems less in touch with reality than Richard Nixon needs to get out more.
Wow. I didn’t know that most Americans wanted to cut and run from Iraq.
The problem with the NYT, like the rest of the Michael Mooron Dems, is that they are crazed by the fact that they aren’t succeeding in their principal short-term goal. They can’t delegitimize the tiny minority of Democrats — Lieberman and Clinton, most notably — who are saying we can’t do what Keller, Abramson and the rest of the Sheehanite Timesies want us to do. Which is to cut and run. If they can’t marginalize those Dems, they can’t regain the control of the debate they had before the president’s speech yesterday. Which is putting them all in line for Vitamin P.
The Times — desperate to regain control over the debate — today resorts to saying Bush is even worse than their ultimate boogey man, Nixon. Sorry, kids, but outside of your news room and chic gatherings of the Hollywoodenheads, nobody buys it. Well, at least nobody who doesn’t work for CBS, Newsweek, or MSNBC.